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Efficiency is just one benefit in using telematics technology

April 15, 2022

Tools that communicate with fleet vehicles, near and far, are having a profound impact on how your customers can remotely monitor and manage their equipment. Telematics is the general term to describe a host of various technology that at its core includes sensors within the vehicle. These sensors collect operational data that can be accessed from a desk or on a mobile device, from anywhere.

While there is a good deal of awareness when it comes to remote sensing tools, usage is somewhat niche and specific to the user. Early research conducted by Nationwide among agents, farmers and commercial agribusinesses indicated that customers see these tools primarily as a way to optimize their business and add value through increased efficiencies. But that’s just the beginning of the benefits.

“We started it to keep track of the mileage for the different states and the quarterly mileage report for tax purposes. Before we had just been writing down the roads they travelled, and when they fill up as well. We saw that we could use this service not only for the mileage but also dispatch to see where they are going.”

Research perspective: Farmer/Fleet owner

Benefits stretch across the agricultural business sector

Benefits that can come from adopting remote sensing tools include:

  • Improved safety
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved vehicle maintenance
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • Faster response times to accidents
  • Reduced administrative costs

Many farmers and commercial agribusinesses have already been early adopters of remote sensing systems in their equipment and fleet telematics. Monitors that provide precise geolocation married with instant yield data have been a part of the farming landscape for some time. So having these tools on equipment is probably nothing new. Commercial agribusiness operations with large shipping fleets are using remote monitors and dashcam technology to help maintain efficient fleet operation.

Today, remote sensing technology can monitor equipment no matter the size of equipment or how the equipment is being used. That means a tractor working in the field can be monitored throughout the day, just as easily as a fleet of produce trucks delivering to warehouses stretched across a state or region. It is not unlike how conventional communication devices, such as cell phones or two-way radios, have been used to monitor equipment movement. Need to know if your vehicles are making their way back from the destination? Instead of a call on the phone or radio, accessing a map with precise location coordinates can provide immediate feedback.

“The most beneficial thing to me is being able to track a truck at any given moment without having to contact the driver.”

Research perspective: Farmer/Fleet owner

Not only will this technology help operate more efficiently, but it can potentially be a revolutionary tool to help develop a safer working environment. These are valuable advantages that will help protect investments.

“We farm in a pretty heavily populated area. There are a lot of hairpin turns, and we run into more motorists not aware of their surroundings… it would be a great way to protect yourself.”

Research perspective: Farmer/Fleet owner

Tools tailored to use, size of business

And this tool is not limited to a select group of farmers or commercial agribusinesses. Because there are so many applications, it can be tailored to the type and size of the operation.

Here are just some examples of how remote sensing technology can be used:

  • Collecting and logging vehicle mileage is done in an instant, reducing the need for individual logbooks.
  • Information on vehicle maintenance is collected automatically, allowing vehicle owners to closely monitor maintenance costs, or seamlessly schedule vehicle maintenance.
  • Location information is available in an instant, allowing for better vehicle management. Owners can see a vehicle moving from one destination to the next. This allows for more efficient vehicle operation.
  • Instant notification can be given of an accident. Not only does this help improve safety, but it provides instant information for possible claims.
  • Specific information on vehicle operation can provide immediate feedback for driver training.
  • Adding dashcams as part of a system provides immediate accident documentation, which can help speed claims and reduce downtime.
  • Dashcams can provide feedback to allow for operator training purposes.

Powerful technology benefits client’s bottom line

Some may view this technology merely as a collection of information. Yet it is important to understand the power the technology has to impact the bottom line. While some may only use the technology to monitor equipment movement, others may use it as a decision-making tool for their equipment fleet. Still others may decide that the data generated can help train new equipment operators or assist seasoned operators in ensuring safe and efficient operation of their equipment.

“Driver safety and reduction in the amount of auto claims…will then help their loss experience and premiums.”

Research perspective: Agent

Understanding the tools to help your clients

We know your customers turn to you as a trusted advisor when making decisions about their operations. Nationwide is hard at work protecting your client’s next means to operational efficiency. That’s why we are creating educational tools to provide general information on this technology. we will explore this topic and dig into the challenges and opportunities this technology offers. Our desire is to help you best counsel your clients on how to make this technology work for them. We are here to help your clients reap the benefits the technology offers.